Kitchn Love Letters

This Stylish Storage Solution Has Transformed My Kitchen Sink Area for the Better

published Jan 24, 2022
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There are a couple of constants that always seem to be true in my apartment kitchen: If I’m cooking, I can always find a way to use every dish and pot and pan that I own; and my kitchen sink area tends to be in continuous use. If I’m not doing dishes, I’m washing my hands, getting a glass of water, watering my plants (but apparently not often enough because they’ve certainly seen better days), or filling a pot to boil pasta for my hungry toddler. While I try to keep my sink at dishes-zero, I couldn’t seem to figure out how to keep the area around my sink neat and organized. 

Apartment living means I need to be smart about space, so I’m already using this caddy for my cleaning brushes. It’s conveniently tucked away in the sink, freeing up valuable counter space. But a solution for hand and dish soap near the faucet was a more challenging task: I needed it to contain bottles, look nice while doing so, and still be easy to clean — because water spills and soap scum are not pretty. 

Credit: Caroline Schnapp

In the same way that you’ll probably meet your true love when you least expect it, I found my solution while scrolling Instagram, looking for inspiration for another chaotic area in my home: my bedside table. This set of Nesting Trays from Open Spaces leapt out at me on my feed, promising me a beautiful and organized place to store jewelry, lip balm, night and hand creams, and a glass of water. I immediately ordered it and tried it out, bedside, for a few nights before it dawned on me, way past my bedtime — as most brilliant ideas do — that it could probably solve my sink solution, too. 

Credit: Caroline Schnapp

And it did! One late-night reorganizing session later, and I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out. The set is made up of a large aluminum tray, a medium hard plastic tray, and a small wooden tray, and I love that I now have a designated area for soaps and small storage right near the action. In a snap, it can be conveniently reconfigured based on the products I’m using to wash dishes. Need to remove jewelry for cooking? Store them in the smallest tray. Add lotion to the lineup for winter? A tube of my favorite is now always within easy reach. 

Besides instantly upgrading the look of my builder-grade kitchen, the best part about these trays is that they’re completely flat on the bottom, meaning there’s no space underneath to trap standing water. That’s something that can’t be said for most of the small trays and dishwashing caddies I’ve tried in the past. No trapped water underneath means that the area around my kitchen sink stays nice and dry, and I’m no longer Googling “how to remove water stains from counters” in the middle of the night. Note to self: Sleep more.

I’m a Nesting Trays convert. I can’t imagine my space without it. Now the hard part will be patiently waiting for my second set to arrive in the mail — my bedside table isn’t going to organize itself! 

Buy: Nesting Trays, Set of 3, $48

Do you have a handy tip for organizing your dishwashing area? Tell us in the comments below, or better yet, send us a photo!